The Sky Is Pink movie review: Priyanka Chopra, Zaira Wasim shine in this emotional ride
The Sky Is Pink
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Zaira Wasim, Rohit Saraf
Director: Shonali Bose
If you have seen 18-year-old Aisha Chaudhary’s TED talk on YouTube, you’d understand why The Sky is Pink is so close to director Shonali Bose’s heart. The story of a terminally-ill teenager waiting to embrace death yet living each moment with fervour, and a grief-stricken family dealing with the tragic unfolding of events, the film moves you from the word go.
Starring Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar, The Sky is Pink transports you to a world where there’s love, family, relationships, life and death. Depicting real-life stories on the big screen can be quite a tough task, the events have already happened, and the end is known. However, Shonali brings heart to the story by keeping The Sky Is Pink real and raw without any needless melodrama. Told through a non-linear narrative, the film is an emotional riot that makes you cry, laugh and feel helpless without overdoing any of it. If, from the trailer you felt it would make you reach out for your tissue box, that’s not the case.
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The film starts with Aisha’s (Zaira Wasim) voice-over, who believes it’s okay to die. In fact, in her words, “it’s cool” and no matter how much you remain in denial, defeating death is in no one’s hands — not even doctors. Travelling through different timelines and flashbacks spanning over two-and-a-half-decades, Aisha takes us on a trip down the memory lane, narrating her parents — Aditi (Priyanka Chopra) and Niren’s (Farhan Akhtar) love story, marriage, parenthood and -- in detail -- their sex life. Awkward? Not really. The film, in fact, tries to assert how normal and millennial it is for kids to discuss ‘sex’ with their parents.
In the first 30 minutes itself, we’re told that Aditi and Niren – Moose and Panda to Aisha -- lost their first child, Tanya, to SCID (Severe Combined Immune Deficiency), a rare genetic disorder. They are lucky with their second child, Ishaan (Rohit Saraf) who doesn’t get this genetic disorder, but their third child, Aisha gets diagnosed with the same. Though it’s clear that Aisha is dead, it’s the series of events, journey the family goes through while dealing with the impending death of their loved one, that keeps us invested.
The Sky Is Pink gets full credit for its on-point casting. Priyanka Chopra Jonas plays mother to teenage children with utmost honesty and sincerity. An effortless performance, The Sky is Pink emphasizes why she was sorely missed on the big screen in the last three years. Complementing her in all ways possible is Farhan Akhtar, who is in his element as the father to Aisha. Controlled in his demeanour, Farhan still manages to remind you of that funny vibe that Imran has in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. A natural performer, he and Priyanka together showcase a comfortable and convincing chemistry.
Zaira Wasim is truly a gem. The Dangal and Secret Superstar actor has multiple layers to her character, and she pulls them all off with ease, giving you no reason to complain. The fact that The Sky is Pink is Zaira’s last Bollywood outing for she has quit acting, it’s definitely a loss. Rohit Saraf, despite his limited screentime, owns it. Thankfully, the sibling bonding shown in the film is heartwarming and isn’t amplified to an extent that it would have looked fake.
At many places, the story moves us to tears and the next moment, carefully placed light humour brings a smile to the face. There are also times when story takes a backseat allowing the actors to take the lead.
While you want to stand up and applaud the writing by Shonali, Juhi Chaturvedi and Nilesh Maniyar, the narrative oscillating between various timelines is confusing. So many switches and shifts get too much to handle at one go. It’s like complicating a simple story just for the heck of it. If you miss noticing the date, year and place written on screen, you’d want to take a moment to rewind a bit and be in sync.
Amid all this, you also somewhere feel that Farhan and Priyanka’s love story takes away from the battle that Aisha is shown fighting. There’s way more focus than required on their back story — how they met, their first kiss, terrace romance, parental issues, so on and so forth. Though second half does focus on her treatment and how her parents are trying to make the ‘rest of the life’ happy for her, it does look a bit superficial. We don’t see Aisha’s grandparents sharing her pain till the deathbed scene when everyone gathers around to bid her a final adieu. Also, there’s a terminally ill patient at home, but we don’t see any medical help at home. Agreed that as a parent Priyanka does her homework and goes through medical literature available on the internet, but still a doctor wouldn’t harm. These are just some of the questions that remain unanswered till the end.
The fact that film starts spreading a positive vibe right from the start, the quirky and cheerful background score sounds apt with the storyline. The song Dil Hi Toh Hai in Arijit Singh and Antara Mitra’s voice adds soul to the film. Do sit back a little for the end credits because they truly are the winning shots.
Overall, The Sky Is Pink is a heartwarming story narrated with a balanced mix of emotions. While the performances shine, the story, too, leaves an impact.
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